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5 reasons to use humor in your presentation

Jun 11, 2024
5 Reasons to Add Humor

You've been in the audience when the best part of the presentation you have been forced to sit through is the end. Relief floods over you as you say "Give me strength!"

This is not  a reaction you want when you present. You can avoid this type of reaction by Adding Humor to  your Presentation. Humor is different to comedy. Humor puts a smile on the face, generates laughter and works best if it is relevant and reinforces your message.

Mark Twain said "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." He knew what he was taking about.

Let's look at five reasons to add humor to your presentation.

1) You will connect better with your audience.

Laughter is a universal language that can bridge gaps and bring people together. When your audience laughs, you create a sense of camaraderie and establish a personal connection. This rapport makes you more relatable and likable, which can be particularly beneficial if you're aiming to persuade or motivate your listeners. People are more inclined to trust and follow someone they feel connected to.

2) Humor Differentiates you from other Speakers

I really pity healthcare employees who have to attend continuing education programs. From my experience, most of them are deadly dull. I do recall one conference where I was speaking where educators did differentiate themselves by using humor (or not.)  One presentation was given by a neuro surgeon who was so boring, I personally prayed for a lobotomy!

He was followed by another educator who told the audience that he was advised to use humor in his slides. He pressed a button and said "This is a humorous slide!"

This is the slide he showed!  - A humerus bone which generated genuine laughter from his audience.

 3) Humor Breaks the Pattern

One of the better ways to ensure audience retention is by having a level of discontinuity and pattern break in your presentation. The presenter who speaks for 30-45 minutes in the same tone, with the same pacing can often lull the audience into a state of boredom and disengagement. On the other hand, the speaker who varies pacing and pattern - which can be done very effectively through humor - will encourage audience attention and engagement.

4) Humor Facilitates Retention

In my presentations, I use humor to reinforce my point and improve retention. When you get people laughing, they are more energized. When people are more energized, they are paying more attention which helps retention.

5) Humor Makes You More Likeable

Need I say more? Well, actually, yes, I do need to say more here because the humor that makes you more likeable and relatable is humor which is gentle, generous and not critical of people. I qualify this by saying, you can of course make fun of your competitors or for instance make fun of lawyers - any time! Unless of course you are presenting to them. Then you make fun of accountants!! You get the idea.

The humor that will make you most relatable is self-deprecating humor, where you make fun of yourself. I often tell stories featuring my lovely wife and I, stories with a humorous message where I make sure that I am seen to be the clueless one!


Interested in Adding Humor to your Presentation. Check this out.


Interested in a very useful resource to Add Humor to your Presentation?

Get: 53 Humorous Quotes & Flubs you can use in any presentation

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